How Pharma Can Reshape Its Identity In Digital Ecosystem
More than 50% of Indian doctors visit on “doctors only” platforms like Docplexus, at least twice a month but, Pharma companies have not taken steps to redefine their identity in this digital ecosystem. According to leading healthcare marketing consultants, at least 40% of doctors do not trust Pharma companies for their own digital platforms. That means unbiased, free and professional doctors-only platforms need to be tapped by Pharma.
The changes in the physician communication preferences have created a gap between what Pharma is and what it is communicating through field force to physicians. Thus, a revolutionary approach is needed to reshape and communicate the tremendous change Pharma is undergoing. An analysis by leading management consultancy firm A.T. Kearney points that Pharma’s efforts are still fragmented and uncoordinated. Typically they are treated as “nice-to-haves” that complement the day-to-day business.
Why Does Pharma Need to Reshape Its Identity?
- To change the negative perception by doctors: The majority of doctors interact with Pharma only through their field force. Our recent survey about MRs showed that about 53% of doctors have a negative perception about the Pharma companies due to their inadequately trained MRs. Many time their interactions fail to communicate the value that Pharma companies can add to doctors’ practice. Thus this negative perception regarding “unwilling to help and pushy” Pharma needs to be reworked.
- Increasing digital interactions by doctors: The doctors of this 21st century are tech-savvy. In India alone, 50% of registered doctors are interacting with each other on professional social media such as Docplexus. In addition, doctors are extensively using other non-specific social media platforms like Facebook and Whatsapp. There is a need for a comprehensive strategy to connect with doctors on professional platforms since they cannot be reached through open social media platforms due to guidelines such as UCPMP norms. Pharma needs to reinvent its identity so that doctors do not hesitate to interact with them due to hesitation.
- Lack of Trust: Reports by Deloitte and GLG both highlighted that there is a lack of trust from doctors’ side on information provided by the Pharma companies. This is because doctors cannot verify the claims made by Pharma as the majority of proprietary data is still not shared by Pharma with them. Doctors trust clinical data and Pharma needs to come out as trusted partner and provider of data and associated clinical benefits. In order to provide clinical insights in a mutually beneficial way, Pharma needs to project itself with a better statement.
How Can Pharma Reshape Its Identity?
The most important shift needed in the Pharma industry is the “shift of mindset”. There have been adverse reactions to Pharma’s push marketing strategy, but the industry has largely remained reluctant to change. The mindset of win-win partnership with doctors needs to be strengthened by projecting good values. Pharma has played a role of big-brother for a long time, but more value into this relationship must be added by helping doctors by giving them unprecedented insights. Only then doctors will truly trust Pharma and hold their hand.
The identity can be reenergized in various ways such as:
- Communicating Proprietary Insights: Pharma needs to communicate its achievements in the field of medicine and should not hold back fearing negative commentaries. In fact, Pharma companies who listen to their critics can become more successful in rebuilding their identity, as they consciously know areas they need to work on. Pharma who listen and address the clinical issues are the ones who are highly regarded. By adopting this, mutual respect is nurtured in both doctors and Pharma.
- Engaging in knowledge building and sharing: Doctors have a lot of clinical and practice management related questions all the time. Pharma can help doctors get answers to these questions by encouraging peer-to-peer learning through online CMEs and KOL discussions. Sponsoring such events, where Pharma only plays a supporting role can leverage Pharma’s image.
- Communicating Clinical Breakthroughs: Any new breakthroughs in the therapeutic area must be covered by Pharma. Pharma needs to not just focus on a product but encourage knowledge sharing regarding the entire therapeutic area. This way doctors know that Pharma is more interested in dealing with the root cause of the problem rather than only selling their product. This position of Pharma is highly regarded by the doctors.
How Can Docplexus Help Pharma?
At Docplexus, ‘active listening’ is our core principle. We listen to our doctors and clients, which allows us to understand the problems faced by Pharma and how we can effectively address them. We have actively analyzed the behavior of doctors and hence, we can devise a customized plan to address the issues and rebuild the reputation.
In addition, we can also provide insights to build the strong identity with ‘Content Marketing’. Content marketing is the BEST way to remain relevant in the crowded atmosphere of banner advertisements.